The Scoop On Sourdough Bread Varieties

Wherever you roam in the world, cultures of people are making cultures all their own, all for the sake of sourdough bread. With varieties ranging in flavor, ingredients, nutrition methodology and even bacteria, there seems to be a whole world of bread just waiting to get baking.

Significant Sourdough Bread Varieties by Region

There are certain regions of the world that make use of the sourdough name particularly well. Moreover, they do so in their own way, making types of bread unique to their own area.

San Franciscan

San Francisco is a renowned spot for sourdough bread. The San Franciscan variety is particularly sour and, when compared with other types, takes an additional few hours to proof.

Danish Rye

Another popular sourdough name, Denmark’s Danish Rye bread makes a strong case for itself. Thanks to its low rates of sugar, fat and gluten, this bread is wildly nutritious. Oftentimes, bakers will even add whole grains and seeds for additional texture.


In Italy, sourdough is used for more than just a loaf of bread. As one might expect, sourdough lends its cultures to pizza crust and baked goods aplenty. That’s exactly where camaldoli comes in. This Italian sourdough variety really broadens the horizon for dough.


Considered a whole wheat variety, the concept of Desem hails from Belgium. Thanks to the wheaty basis, a nuttiness and high level of nutrition play a lead role in this loaf’s palate.

New Zealand

New Zealand sourdough is known for its mild undertones. The starter reacts well to rye flours, but is able to adapt whatever the case may be. This sourdough variety is a good option for those who wish to travel with their cultured pal.

Obviously, the regional sourdough varieties of the world are more than we wish to stick on one page. However, by sifting through these base types of dough the world has to offer, at-home bakers can get a solid idea of the range of sourdough this realm is really working with.

Popular Types of Sourdough Bread Recipes

Whole Grain

If you’re a fan of breads that are dense in both texture and nutrition, whole grain is the way to go. By retaining the whole of the grain in your bread, you get to enjoy every bit of nutrition to benefit your microbiome. These breads—which include whole grains of wheat and other grains like barley and oats—are hearty and fibrous, so you’ll feel full fast.

Whole Wheat

Whole wheat sourdough differs from whole grain in that the grains in whole wheat flour are exclusively wheat. The bran, germ and endosperm are all maintained, so you can enjoy every nutritious benefit of the grassy plant. Moreover, whole wheat dough keeps its shape well, making for quality proofing.

Spelt Flour

Spelt is an ancient grain that’s very high in vitamins and minerals. It also contains a lower level of gluten than traditional wheat does, making it better suited for those hoping to minimize gluten consumption. It’s also notoriously tasty, although you may have to wait a bit longer for it to leaven.

Brown Rice

Made from naturally gluten-free brown rice flour, brown rice sourdough makes an indelible mark on the allergens of the bunch. This type of sourdough starter also works quicker and needs fed more often, so be alert. Try baking this bread in a pan, for it tends to spread farther than you might expect.

Gluten-Free & Vegan

You may have doubted that gluten-free sourdough bread even existed. However, with the proper approach, it’s a rather delectable alternative to its white, wheat or rye opponents. Moreover, it sits well in the stomachs of those with celiac disease and gluten intolerances of all kinds. Read more about Gluten-free & Vegan Sourdough here

Bread Machine

If you wish to tie your kneading, rising and baking to your trusty bread machine, you’ll want to make sure your recipe is bread-machine friendly. People typically stick to white flour for this method, potentially adding additional active yeast along with sourdough starter to kickstart their rising. While it may be a shortcut that most sourdough aficionados advise against, it’s definitely doable and delicious.


With properties like a thick crust, light crumb and unmistakable smell, rye sourdough is a popular variety for a reason. The different parts of the rye seed are difficult to segregate, so it’s easy for rye breads to remain nutrition. High levels of manganese, fiber and phosphorus are just some of the benefits of rye bread.


Potato sourdough uses cooking water from potatoes to create moisture. This affects color as well as flavor, leaving the resulting loaf to be milder in flavor than hearty variants like rye and wheat. The starter for potato bread also needs fed less often, so it’s much more low maintenance.

Honey Wheat

Honey wheat sourdough brings a bit of a sweeter bite to the tongue. The dough is great for rolls and loaves alike, and the sugar in the honey reacts well with the bacterial yeasts in the bread cultures.

Soda Bread

With a hearty texture and a bit of sweetness, soda bread is an ideal flavor anytime of year. Cut with ingredients like baking soda, wheat flour and oftentimes buttermilk, this loaf brings a taste of home for many. When made right, it’s not too sour, and it’s tender enough to enjoy at any temperature. Moreover, you don’t have to add any additional yeast for this loaf to come to fruition.


By sticking to very basic ingredients (sourdough starter, high-gluten flour and a bit of salt), one can proof and bake in a dutch oven or similar device. without even having to knead.

Sourdough loaf loaf bread made by cane banneton proofing basket

Sourdough bread loaf made by cane banneton proofing basket

>> See highly-rated bannetons!

A Modern World of Sourdough Bread Varieties

As you can see, the opportunities for sourdough are vaster than ever. Whether you’re a home-based baker or a cafe-bound pastry junky, you have every chance to change up your cultures. You could spend a lifetime cultivating the best whole wheat starter, or you could revel in the best dessert-friendly bread for all your days. Whatever your intention, your favorite variant of the many types of sourdough bread is here for you and your palate.

sourdough bread baking

>> See highly-rated bannetons!


  • Alex

    Hi, my name is Alex Ng, a painter, nature lover and craftsman. I make handmade home goods as side hustle. I love to share my passion and lessons when practicing an eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle.

1 thought on “The Scoop On Sourdough Bread Varieties”

  1. K messinger

    If u make artisan bread with active dry yeast and leave in refrig for two or three days the does it automatically make sourdough

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